August 8 Is National Happiness Happens Day: 5 Ways To Keep Yourself Happy

August 8 Is National Happiness Happens Day: 5 Ways To Keep Yourself Happy

Smile on!
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Feeling the “end of summer” blues? Fear not! Monday, Aug. 8 is National Happiness Happens Day here in the U.S. Not sure how you want to celebrate? Here are some tips to help you stay happy in your day-to-day routine:

1. Keep Yourself Healthy

Exercising is a great way to accomplish this. There’s nothing better than eliminating stress with an intense run and an updated playlist. Keeping yourself moving will not only make you feel happier emotionally, but it will make your body physically feel good. Put down the Doritos, turn off Netflix and get moving. There’s also a million healthy recipes to keep your body feeling energized, and your tastebuds tingling! These tips from BuzzFeed can help you with that. Your bikini-ready body will thank you for it later.

2. Eliminate Toxic People From Your Life

You’ll meet a lot of interesting faces growing up, however, not all of them should be part of your inner circle. Make sure the people that you surround yourself with are people who want to see you happy and successful. If you are noticing that they take more than they give in a friendship or relationship, they probably aren’t worth your time. Check out this list by Lifehack to see who these people might be in your life. Surround yourself with positive energy instead. This can apply to your living space, your extra-curricular activities and your personal relationships. Put yourself in a space that makes you smile!

3. Treat Yourself

Set a goal to do three nice things for yourself every day. Whether it’s taking five minutes to sit back and do nothing, enjoying a special lunch or making time to finish your homework early so that you can watch your favorite movie, it’s totally worth it to give yourself things to look forward to every day. This list from yesandyes.org gave me so many great ideas that fit perfectly into a college schedule and budget.

4. Practice Gratitude

I’m a firm believer that service is good for the soul. Consider volunteering or doing some sort of good deed every so often. If you don't have a lot of spare time to volunteer, take time to think about all the things that you can be grateful for in your life. Think about all of the positive things that you experience every day. Consider the people, places and things in your life that make you smile. This guide to practicing gratitude from happify.com is a great place to start. Practicing this always helps me stay positive!

5. Get Into A Hobby

Give yourself something to do that makes you feel relaxed and happy. Consider an intramural sport or a fitness class if you’re athletic. If you’re artistic, maybe sketching, photography, writing or playing an instrument would work better for you. Give yourself something to look forward to and be proud of. This list from BuzzFeed has some pretty creative ideas for hobbies if you’re a busy bee like me!

Cover Image Credit: UnZippedTV.com

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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8 Things You Learn When You're Related To A Drug Addict

1. No one is obligated to choose you.
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Being the child, or family member of a drug addict can be hard but depending on how you look at it, it can also be a blessing in a very weird way. Here are eight things you learn about life from being the child or family member of a drug addict.

1. No one is obligated to choose you.

2. When people choose you, you know to cherish it.

3. Not everyone is going to understand your situation.

4. People have very skewed opinions about families of drug addicts.

5. People can change.

6. Not all people choose to change.

7. Being selfish is actually a lot of work.

8. Don't judge a book by its cover, or a person by their family members.

There are many things you learn about life, often sooner than most, when you're related or close to a drug addict. In my case, I have many members of my dad's family as well as my dad, who overdosed when I was young, who are addicted to drugs. Seeing people choose substance over blood at a young age is eyeopening, and hard to understand. As you get older and begin to understand the severity of the situation; life becomes clearer. You don't trust everyone you meet, you try to stay away from risky behavior, and family that chooses you becomes all the more important.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

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